In order to keep kids learning over the summer months, the most effective thing teachers can do is to get parents on board with their child's learning. Here are a few suggestions for teachers to pass on to parents to increase summer reading, using The ABCs of Improved Reading:
Access to books. It is important to give children access to a wide variety of books. Make a family trip to the local library and have everyone sign up for library cards. Kids will love the sense of importance and responsibility signing up for a card will give them as well.
Books that match readers' ability levels and interest. Let them choose to read about topics that interest them. As their skills grow, make sure the books children read continue to challenge (not frustrate) them.
**To test whether a book is above a child's reading ability, use the five-finger rule. Have a child read 100 words from a book of their choosing. Ask them to raise a finger for every word they don't know. If they raise five fingers, the book is probably too hard. In this case, help them find a book on the same topic that is on their level.**
Comprehension, as monitored and guided by an adult. This concept cannot be stressed enough: read with your children! Encourage them to ask questions. Ask them questions about the characters and storylines to make sure they understand what is going on. Summarize chapters for them or ask them to summarize. Reread harder passages.
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